Category climbs?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Guest, Sep 11, 2002.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    How does the categories for climbs work? Is it 1 for the easiest and 4 the toughest or visa versa? I always thought it is from small to big but read that the hill climb the day after the Jock Tour is on a Cat 1 climb and I know that climb is a killer. So, either the categories works from big to small or the dudes that ride the TDF are beyond comparison.
     
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  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    For category climbs, it is the reverse of what you were thinking. Category 4 being the easiest, to Category 1 being the hardest (apart from Hors category, which I think from memory means beyond classification). Basically the climbs are categorised according to their difficulty - taking into account the length of the climb, the gradient and the road surface/conditions.

    I did find a site one day which explained it in much greater detail than the above. Like I say its from memory so someone else might be able to provide a more accurate explanation!

    Matt.
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Does any of the South Africans know in what category "Ou Kaapse weg" (Part of the Argus cycle tour) will typically fall?
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I don't think Ou Kaapse weg makes it into a category rating (well I heard this somewhere). I think it averages something like 3 or 4 % for 7km's or something, I think Alp D'HUez etc are something like 9/10% for 21 km's... A little bit of a difference.

    I'm keen to try this Tour De Lesotho, that has what would be a category one climb if it were longer (I think)
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Well boys wish me luck. I'm off to ride the hills in Lesotho with the M Soft team for the World Vision Aids Relay. 7 days @ 100 - 160kms a day should be fun. Hoohaa.

    Speak to you all on Monday 23rd when I get back, probably half dead. :p ;D
     
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Afternoon All,
    During August my brother and I took ourselves to France. We joined a tour group run by Graham Baxter. The company Sporting Tours (www.SportingTours.co.uk) specializes in Raid’s and Randonnees. We took part with a group of 24 other riders from round the world. Sporting Tours tries to recreate the pro riders life style whilst you doing the Tour. From the 18th Aug to the 25th Aug we rode Stage 11 to 17 of the 2002 TdF. We covered all the distance a total of 1400 odd Km. It meant climbing some of the meanest mountains ever. Having ridden the PnP Argus 8 time of which 4 of them were sub 3hrs. I thought, I was fit enough and then some. Even my very intensive training program could not prepare me for what lay ahead of us. The mountains are huge; the road just keeps heading sky words for hours. You have temperature extremes all day. From the valley you may be riding at 35 to 40 degrees and on the climbs it may drop to –10 degrees, having sleet and snow. I will not bore anyone any more, other than hats off to Robert Hunter. He is a true cyclist.
    I have some fab photos and memories I will take to my grave.
    If any details for a trip like this are needed, please do not hesitate to contact me. ;D
     
  7. Vo2

    Vo2 Member

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    Awesome! I think most people underestimate the mountains of France. Spyker, I'm sure that most rides fade into oblivion after such an experience.
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Vo2, we suffered like dogs on the climbs. The bug has bitten; we can’t wait to get back to France, Italy and Switzerland. There is such a sub culture of these cyclists who ride 200km-+ per day over as many of these monsters as possible.
    The passion shown by the French was awesome. You get total strangers offering encouragement and water, not to mention the most amazing road manners.
    We intend to return next year July (2003). I now know what real cycling is about. I have lost almost all my competitive spirit; all my energy is being channeled to beat my time of 1hr46min up Mt Ventoux. On March 16th, the day of PnP Argus, it will be a total fun ride. To hell with setting another sub 3. I have a feeling what it is to ride the Tour, nothing compares.
     
  9. Vo2

    Vo2 Member

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    Spyker, your post gave me goosies! You have experienced the cycling high I dream of. It's almost a spiritual thing. To say, as a cyclist, that you've climbed the Giant of Provence must make you feel so good inside. I envy you.
    I'd love to see the photos.

    If I may ask, how much did the trip set you back?
     
  10. Spyker

    Spyker New Member

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    Well, it was a fun ride... Except that Sporting Tours, treated us like Pro riders. We slept in the same hotels as the Tour riders. We had back up vehicles following us all day, servicing us with water, energy drinks and food. All inter stage transfers were in a luxury bus. All meals provided were of top quality. After a day of hard riding our bikes were taken from us, serviced by a ex Tour mechanic. We also received, deep or light, sports massages from two current pro tour masseurs. We felt like &quot;Gods&quot; <br />The route was exactly the same as this years TdF, from start line to finish line. The general rule of thumb was: If the Lance rides a stage in 6 hours, we would ride the same stage in 8 - 10 hours. Having watched the Tour on TV before we left, we had an idea of what we were up against. Once again how wrong we were. TV does lie. The peleton does fly. They all make it look so comfortable. What men they are (sorry not very PC). <br />Our ride time for stage 14, Lodeve to Mt Ventoux, 221km. Took us 8hr20 versus the 5hr43 done by Richard Virenque on the day. Armstrong has the current record time for the fastest ascent of Ventoux, 58min. All I know is, to have shaved off 2min from my time of 1hr46 would have been near impossible. The Ventoux climd starts in the town of Bedoin, from there it is 23km to the summit, average gradient 7.4%. Every km is marked with a beacon, stating the altitude, distance to summit, next km average gradient. Twice the road veered up to a 12% gradient for a km. Makes riding up OuKaapse Weg feel like you going down hill. When passing the monument to Tom Simpson, loads of people stop and pay their respects to the man who died on the slopes back in '67. It is a very somber feeling to be standing on the place where a great cyclist died; uttering the words &quot;put me back on my bike&quot;. The roads are littered with monuments to famous cyclists, another being Fabio Casartelli. <br />Another off the route HC climb we manage to squeeze in was on stage 15, Vaison-la-Romaine to Les deux Alpes. The famed Alpe d'Huez, with 21 switchbacks. The ski resorts of Alpe d'Huez and Les deux Alpes are in off the same valley road. So it meant adding on an extra 35km. Well worth the pain in the legs and saddle sores.<br />I am not a league racer any more. I rode at a competitive level a couple of years ago before I had to get a real job. I am a Cape Town resident and my brother lives in Johannesburg.<br />I'm very willing to share photos or answer questions. ;D <br />
     
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    you said you did the same tdf stages as the pro's , what was your time for the whole ventoux stage? btw whats lances time up Ventoux?. where you racing or just riding casual?.

    ps rodent i think youve confused ventoux i heard on the tv commentary it was nearly 30k with a average of 7%, sure some stuff would be that steep though.

    iv heard all you south africans rave how hard that kapasee weg thingy is ;D and now you say its only 3 % thats eassy.peassy.
     
  12. jtreed2000

    jtreed2000 New Member

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    That is a dream Sypker. Congradulations! <br />Does anyone know of a good site to compare some of these great hills, or even list the specs on each category? There is only so much you can learn from TV and seeing those poor ba$%ards suffer up the Alps. How we envy them all. Remember though that those times by Lance are after several weeks of climbing and they're better than 99.9999% of all cyclists in the world! So I don't think you did too bad. Hell, you got up it! That's better than some of those in the Tour!
     
  13. admin

    admin Guest

    [quote author=jtreed2000 link=board=19;threadid=964;start=0#21065 date=1032532719]<br />That is a dream Sypker. Congradulations! <br />Does anyone know of a good site to compare some of these great hills, or even list the specs on each category? There is only so much you can learn from TV and seeing those poor ba$%ards suffer up the Alps. How we envy them all. Remember though that those times by Lance are after several weeks of climbing and they're better than 99.9999% of all cyclists in the world! So I don't think you did too bad. Hell, you got up it! That's better than some of those in the Tour!<br />[/quote]<br /><br />You could have a look at www.cyclingnews.com they have course profiles and descriptions etc... failing that you could do a search on www.google.com<br /><br />cheers!
     
  14. Animal

    Animal New Member

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    There are full details of length and grade, and graphical profile of most climbs here:<br /><br />http://www.salite.ch<br /><br />Including Alpe d'Huez which is only 14km long: http://www.salite.ch/huez,da1.htm (The &quot;21&quot; figure is the number of hairpin bends!)<br /><br />The Ventoux climb is 21km from Bedoin. The average may be 7.5%, but that's because it includes the first, easy bit. The final 18 or so kilometres are pretty solid 10%!<br /><br />BTW Spyker, sounds like a great trip. Baxter tours are good fun.<br /><br />I have some reports on trips with them - and the latest Alps trip from last month on the web at http://www.geocities.com/exguardianreader<br /><br />Warning. The jpegs in the &quot;Alps 2002&quot; story are very big, so will take a long time to download. I've made them display the right size to fit within your browser though by javascript trickery.
     
  15. Animal

    Animal New Member

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    http://www.salite.ch/huez,da1.htm<br /><br />including the &quot;,da1.htm&quot;! yes it's a bizzare file name, but hey, ths site is Swiss!
     
  16. Vo2

    Vo2 Member

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    Nice site! Thanks Animal.<br /><br />btw, welcome to the forums!
     
  17. admin

    admin Guest

    [quote author=Animal link=board=19;threadid=964;start=0#21272 date=1033136977]<br />http://www.salite.ch/huez,da1.htm<br /><br />including the &quot;,da1.htm&quot;! yes it's a bizzare file name, but hey, ths site is Swiss!<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Looks easy on paper ;D
     
  18. maarten

    maarten New Member

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    It seems no one really tried to explain the categories this is for a simple fact there aren't any uniformous rules.<br /><br />So I Will give it a try.<br /><br />Catergorys's vary from several factor the same climb can have a different category because off severals facts:<br />The organisation finally desides but there are some unofficial rules<br />the higher the gradient the higher the category<br />The longer the climb the higher the category<br />climbs early in a stage tend to be lower in category<br />when a climb is also the finish it tends to be a category higher as usual<br />not much hills in the stage will mean an upgrade for the hill there is in it and vice versa<br />In the first week hills tend to be overrated to create some tension for the king of the mountain classification.(extreme example once a digue in holland of maybe 15meters high got categorised because it was the only road going up in the first stages, somteimes in mountain stages a hill of 500 meters high gets no classification) <br /><br />classifications tend to vary also considering which race it is, point scales are different for every tour.<br /><br />
     
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